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Venere e Amore dormienti spiati da un satiro

Bottega di Jacopo Negretti, detto Palma il Giovane (Venezia 1544 - 1628)

Venetian School of the late 16th century
Workshop of Jacopo Negretti, known as Palma il Giovane (Venice 1544 - 1628)

Sleeping Venus and Cupid Spied on by a Satyr

Oil on canvas
49 x 66 cm.
In frame 64 x 81 cm.
D23-038 € 4.700 Request information

An interesting painting of the Venetian school, of exquisite quality, executed in the 17th century by a Venetian painter, illustrating a fascinating mythological subject with a sleeping nude Venus and little Cupid at her side, also sleeping, while a winking satyr gazes at her in fascination.

Clearly Venetian in origin, the intense luminosity that envelops the composition with skilful chiaroscuro is emphasised by a rather restrained but very bright colour palette.

Examining its stylistic characteristics, we find great consonances with the achievements of the workshop of the Venetian Jacopo Negretti, known as Palma il Giovane. His painting, and the fascination derived from it, is the result of a mixture of different influences: that of the Venetian school of Titian and Tintoretto, and that of the Florentine-Roman school of Raphael and Michelangelo, which he learned during his four-year stay in Rome.

Venus and her son, the embodiments of eroticism, have slumbered totally naked on a white sheet, and such they appear as soon as the covetous satyr, perhaps Pan, silently tries to discover them. The undeniably lascivious atmosphere would invite one to read the scene as an allegory of the pleasures of carnal love.

Given the explicit sensuality of the painting, due to the nudity of the goddess, a clear erotic allusion can be discerned in the work, further emphasised by the contrast between the opulent, rosy forms of Venus and the brown ones of the satyr.

These are recurrent themes in 'chamber' paintings, destined for the strictly private rooms of stately homes and often characterised by themes of such content, for the amusement of the patron landlord.

For comparison, see, by Palma the Younger, the painting 'Venus and Cupid in the Forge of Vulcan' (c. 1610, Staatliche Museen, Kassel, link:, and 'Venus' in the National Gallery, London.


The painting is sold complete with an antique wooden frame and comes with a certificate of authenticity and descriptive iconographic card.

We take care of and organise the transport of the purchased works, both for Italy and abroad, through professional and insured carriers.

Should you have the desire to see this or other works in person, we will be happy to welcome you to our new gallery in Riva del Garda, Viale Giuseppe Canella 18. We are waiting for you!

Contact us for any information or to arrange a visit, we will be happy to answer you.

In case of purchase of the work by non-Italian customers, it will be necessary to obtain an export permit, which takes about 10/20 days; our gallery will take care of the whole phase until it is obtained. All costs of this operation are included.



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